Hi - we plan on renting a car in Oxenholme and using it in the Lake District, then traveling though the Dales to York, where we will drop off the car. Would like our drive to include cute Yorkshire Dales villages and also a stop at Fountains Abby. Can anyone help me plan a route? I don't especially like "B" roads but will use them if necessary!
Presumably the rental company is meeting you at Oxenholme as there is no rental company based there- otherwise you are dropping down into Kendal for the car.
From Oxenholme take the A684 into Sedbergh- 11 miles- that's your first stop- also call at the Fairfield Mill on the outskirts of town.
From Sedbergh you could stay on the A684 over Garsdale Head to Hawes- for the Creamery, the Rope Works and the Dales Museum.
But I would suggest taking the A683/A685 to Kirkby Stephen then the B6270 over the moors to Keld, then the unclassified Buttertubs Pass to Hawes.
From Hawes keep on the A684 through Wensleydale via Bainbridge and Askrigg (a very short deviation- famous for James Herrriot) then Aysgarth (for the waterfalls), deviating off to Castle Bolton, then back on the A684 to Leyburn- a quintessential Dales town.
From Leyburn either stay on the A684 to Bedale (another lovely town) or the A6108 to the Cathedral city of Ripon (from Bedale take the B6268 and B6267 to link back to the A6108).
On either route you pass through the brewery town of Masham.
From Ripon it is a short drive west on the B6265 then an unclassified road to Fountains Abbey.
Back to Ripon then the A61 to Harrogate (for Betty's tea room), then the A59 to Knaresborough (Mother Shipton's Cave).
Stay on the A59 to York.
Or you could deviate down the A1/A659 and A64 through Wetherby and Tadcaster.
This could become a several day itinerary, staying in Hawes on night 1, and Ripon on night 2, or even stay in Bedale on night 2 then Harrogate on night 3.
That's one idea anyway.
There will be many other possible routes.
Hi Terri -
I’m afraid to get up close and personal with the Dales and the villages therein, you don’t have much option but to use the ‘B’ roads - that’s really all there are. Some are more challenging than others but all are doable and all are worth the effort!
Isn31c gives you a decent route and is right to point out that there are going to be other options. One that occurred to me is from Hawes take the road to Aysgarth and turn south towards West Burton dropping into Wharfedale via Cray (essentially a pub!) and thence into Buckden followed by Starbotton, Kettlewell, Kilnsey (look for climbers attempting the overhang on the crag alongside the road) to arrive in Grassington. From Grassington take the road to Pateley Bridge transferring into Nidderdale past Stump Cross Caverns and the Coldstones Cut. Care required down Greenhow Hill immediately above Pateley Bridge, it’s steep. From Pateley Bridge continue generally eastwards to arrive at Fountains Abbey before reaching Ripon. If your car has sat nav, programme it from beyond Pateley Bridge. There are various options - I might go via Grantley Hall (posh hotel, nice surroundings, expensive afternoon tea. Booking ahead advised. See how the other half lives!). Look also for the brown ‘tourist attraction’ signs for Fountains Abbey.
Be brave, go steady - it really is doable, you just need to be a little bit brave.
Ask if you need any more info. Have a great trip!
If we make it into an overnight trip, where's a good place to spend the night? Hawes? Grassington? We don't want to feel rushed.
In some ways that depends what time you are starting from Oxenholme.
If starting mid morning taking the first route I would suggest Ripon, if taking the latter route suggest Pateley Bridge. Both are 2 hours drive time without the many stops you will be making from Oxenholme.
You will be stopping twice in Sedbergh, should be 3 x in Hawes and briefly in Askrigg and Aysgarth, also see below about Hardraw.
But if it's going to be lunchtime starting then any of Hawes, Aysgarth, Askrigg or Kettlewell seems ideal to me. I would choose Hawes of the 4 any day or if pushing on through then I would choose Kettlewell over Grassington, but Ian's opinion may vary, and he knows the Dales better than me.
I just love Hawes as a town, and it's a good place for a range of good and interesting places to eat and drink, including a very good fish and chip shop!
On another thread today Ian noted that the Green Dragon Inn at Hardraw is thought to have re-opened. I have checked and it has. That is great news (firstly for the pub), but also as there is now access again to Hardraw Force- England's highest single drop waterfall, accessed through the pub. Hardraw is just outside Hawes on a back road approaching from Garsdale. That is worth the divert on a little Dales road.
Well, you’re of course right isn31c, and I do have slightly differing opinions, in so far as while I can’t argue with you about Hawes, and the facilities therein, for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on, Hawes is not one of my favourites, although I would admit to having stayed there several times. Maybe it’s because it gets hellishly busy on occasion and my visits have coincided with the worst of the overcrowding. As I say, can’t quite put my finger on it.
Kettlewell though, I would agree with. There’s nothing much there, and I think many of the houses now are holiday lets, but for such a small place it’s usually well provisioned with pubs! It doesn’t suffer from the manic overcrowding that (I think) puts me off Hawes and which can similarly afflict Grassington. So yes to Kettlewell.
If the OP goes via Pateley Bridge and has a bit of time, then a trip up towards the head of Nidderdale would bring you to The Crown at Middlesmoor which is excellent. Good food and ales, comfortable if not swishy rooms and excellent location. B road approaches too, no other way. Moorland crossing to Middlesmoor from Masham too on what looks like a ‘B-‘ road!
When passing Garsdale station do pop in to Garsdale station, and see the excellent historical displays - different ones in the northbound and southbound waiting rooms.
And see the statue of Ruswarp the dog on the southbound platform. If you are as lucky as I was today you will see red squirrels, plural, crossing the platforms and the tracks. That was an unexpected treat.
Look Ruswarp the dog up on Google.
See if Hawes Junction Chapel, just down the road, where I was this morning, on one of my periodic visits, is open.
I haven't been there for years, but I suggest you allow for double the time you project for the drive, just so you're not disappointed, or miss something scheduled in York. Besides the narrowness of rural roads, even on paved roads fully two lanes wide, we regularly got caught behind caravans that didn't go very fast. That was Coniston Water to York.
Thanks. That's why I'm thinking of making an overnight stop midway. I like to dawdle!
While I have been away I have been trying, without success, to find out about a road closure on the A684.
When I was at Garsdale on Tuesday morning there were road closure signs ready to put up, at the Moorcock Inn, which would affect the route from there to Hawes. When and how long for, is what I can't find out.
If that happened you would have to divert from the Moorcock (another place someone could stay at on that route) through the Mallerstang valley to Kirkby Stephen then as described above. Not a problem , just a bit more time.
I know there has been a programme over the last 2 or 3 years to improve the road for much of it's length. Partly because of the number of motorcyclists it attracts in high season